GREENWICH - (AP) - One of the owners of the Empire State Building met with Connecticut Department of Transportation officials Wednesday to convince them to save the trees on the Merritt Parkway.

Peter Malkin is a Greenwich resident and chairman of the investment group that owns New York City's tallest building. He says work by the DOT threatens the parkway's character.

At issue is a $66.5 million federal stimulus project to make safety improvements and upgrade 13 bridges in Fairfield and Trumbull. Another DOT safety project includes clearing 300 trees in Stratford.

DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick takes issue with Malkin's comments, saying the state has been working hard to balance aesthetics with safety.